Yes, there are many recipes for tiramisu out there – traditional, layered into a dish, individual servings in fancy glasses, and layered cakes, like this one. However, how many tiramisu recipes are devoid of shop-bought, refined-flour-filled savoiardi/ lady finger biscuits, or white, bready sponges? How many tiramisu recipes are free from expensive and alcoholic liqueurs, or even just caffeine-laden espresso coffee? How many are . . . low-fructose?
Many people have their preferences for tiramisu, their favourite recipe, and differences in taste, texture, and ingredients. I’ve never actually eaten a proper tiramisu, but have read plenty of recipes and seen them made many times. I am in love with the idea of slightly moistened sponge, dark chocolate – grated, liquered, powdered – and coffee, along with rich and fluffy marscapone cream filling! I decided to make my own version, with a few twists.
Firstly, the sponge. I went to the trouble of making my own, substituting cornstarch and coconut flour for the white, carb-laden all-purpose. This way, the sponge would be higher in protein, fibre, and lower in carbohydrate. Secondly, the soaking liquid. I used a decaffeinated coffee powder and cocoa powder liquid to brush the cakes with, cutting out the need for liqueurs. Thirdly, the filling. I made a soft, fluffy cream, with cream cheese instead of marscapone. Some may think I committed the ultimate crime against purist tiramisu; I think I just saved myself a few precious dollars! Well, that’s not the main reason. Cream cheese makes a wonderfully thick base for the icing-like cream, and holds its shape nicely. The flavour is different, but I rather like the sharpness from the cream cheese, and let’s face it: it’s easy to find!
Anyway, I hope you decide to give this cake a go. It may not be traditional, but it’s slightly healthier than the original and still pretty darn tasty.
This recipe can be gluten-free, nut-free, and (of course) low-fructose.
– 4 eggs
– 4 Tablespoons dextrose (use more if you like properly sweet cake)
– 1/3 cup coconut flour
– 1/4 cup cornstarch
– 2 heaped teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon cream of tartar
– 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean
– 1 1/2 Tablespoons decaf coffee powder
– 1 heaped Tablespoon cocoa powder
– 3-4 Tablespoons water
– 1 teaspoon dextrose
– 250 grams cream cheese
– 2-3 Tablespoons dextrose, according to your sweet-tooth
– 250 ml cream
– 1 teaspoon vanilla essence or 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean, extra
– low-fructose dark chocolate chunks (see my recipe in “Treats”), powder, or cocoa powder
1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Line a 20 cm springform tin with baking paper (base and sides).
2. In a large bowl, beat the eggs and dextrose together until incredibly voluminous, fluffy, and light (you should be able to make a ‘figure of 8’ with a trail of the froth). I used a hand whisk, but I recommend using electric beaters if you have them – unless you want a very sore arm, like mine!
3. Sift together the coconut flour, cornstarch, baking powder, and cream of tartar into a bowl. Sift (again) half of this into the egg mixture, folding in gently. Repeat with the remaining flour mixture, this time adding the vanilla.
4. Gently pour into the cake tin, and bake in the preheated oven about 20-25 minutes until lightly browned and super-golden. It should be springy to the touch. Remove and cool on a wire rack.
5. Mix the coffee, cocoa, water, and teaspoon of dextrose in a small bowl until smooth and liquidy (add more water if needed). Set aside.
6. In a food processor, blitz the remaining ingredients (except cocoa/ chocolate) until smooth and creamy. Remove to a bowl and chill as you prepare to assemble the cake.
7. Cut the cooled cake in half using a serrated bread knife. Place one half on a serving plate (cut side up), brush with half the coffee-chocolate liquid, and spread on around 1/4-2/5 of the cream icing. Brush the remaining cake half (cut side up) with the rest of the coffee liquid, then sandwich the cut side down on top of the cream layer. Spread the remaining cream on the top and sides of this sandwich, and sprinkle with low-fructose chocolate chunks, dust, or sieved cocoa powder. Refrigerate until ready to serve, and enjoy! 🙂